Aug 9 2019 | By More

★★★☆☆   Strong performance

Young critics scheme review:
Hill Street Theatre (Venue 41): Fri 2 – Sun 11 Aug 2019
Review by Iskra Hearn

The Edinburgh Little Theatre brings Lionel Bart’s musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic Oliver Twist to life this week at the Hill Street Theatre.

Oliver! tells the familiar story of the Victorian orphan who is sold from his workhouse and joins a group of young miscreant pick-pockets through energetic and compelling musical numbers. Despite the setting of 19th century London, the themes of poverty, corruption and gender roles explored in the production are abiding and still relevant today.

The young cast of Oliver!. Pic: Edinburgh Little Theatre

The wide age range of the cast allows for an interesting performance as the actors all look convincing in their roles and create believable, sympathetic and understandable characters.

Aaron MacGregor is delightful as Oliver, he captures the innocence and troubles of the orphan with precision well beyond his years. He is vocally talented and his performance feels authentic and is enjoyable to watch.

Other outstanding performers include Linzi Devers as Nancy, the lover of notorious criminal Bill Sikes (Max Reid) who tries to help Oliver despite her fear of her violent partner.

turmoil feels tangible

Devers gives a charming, well rounded performance with depth as she conveys the inner conflict Nancy faces over wether to do the right thing and help Oliver, or stay loyal to the man she loves but who treats her terribly. Her incredible voice is shown off best in As Long as he Needs Me in which she makes Nancy’s turmoil feels tangible to the audience.

Max Reid and Linzi Devers. Pic: Edinburgh Little Theatre

Reid is also commendable as Bill Sikes. He plays up Sikes’ cruel, vicious streak, giving an unnerving performance with moments that manage to scare the audience in an otherwise fairly lighthearted show.

Callum Martin and Roza Stevenson are entertaining to watch as the eccentric undertaker and his opinionated wife, Mr and Mrs Sowesberry, and Stuart Mitchell brings the humour as the pompous, out of touch Mr Bumble.

The younger cast members making up the pick-pocketing gang are enthusiastic and look like they are enjoying themselves on stage. Their voices are loud and strong during their numbers and they keep their energy high. Overall the performances are enjoyable and the London accents hold up well throughout the performance.

Oliver! is a timeless tale and the Edinburgh Little Theatre succeeds in putting on a captivating performance of the classic this Fringe.

Run time: Two hours and 30 minutes (including one interval)
Hill Street Theatre, 19 Hill Street, EH2 3JP (Venue 41)
Friday 2 – Sunday 11 August 2019
Daily: 9.45am.
Tickets and details: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/oliver-2

Website: www.edinburghlittletheatre.com
Facebook: @Edinburghlittletheatre
Twitter: @edlittletheatre
Instagram: @edinburghlittletheatre


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Comments (4)

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  1. Margaret Nisbet says:

    Great show. The cast were excellent especially the kids who put their hearts and soul into the show. Recommend you see it in the next two days before it finishes. A huge applause to all who took part.

  2. Billy Paterson says:

    We also have two dodgers which on Sunday I will be the 2nd dodger

  3. Tony R says:

    Saw this on the opening performance and thoroughly enjoyed it. The kids were great and Nancy and Bill were very well played. All of the other smaller parts did very well too. Fagan has trouble with his Iines on this performance particularly in my favourite song Reviewing the Situation which was a little disappointing but overall did ok! This was an introduction to Musical Theatre for my 10 & 6 year olds and they are now hooked and can’t wait to see their next show! Well done to everyone concerned!

  4. Josh Heath says:

    I enjoyed playing one of the main role as Dodger getting that role so amazing I’ve always wanted to be dodger and I finally got it. I loved meeting the cast and working with them the boy who played Oliver was amazing and he was great wee guy to be performing with. Thanks to ELT for this great experience for my first fringe show